Food service workers living or working in Detroit are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

Photo by Serena Maria Daniels. Lines at E&L Market in Southwest Detroit in the early months of the pandemic, 2020.

Restaurant and grocery store workers living or working in Detroit are among the latest group to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

In an announcement made by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Tuesday, qualifying food service workers, including those who work in grocery stores, restaurants, meat-packing, and food and beverage handling facilities, can now call to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine at the TCF Center.

“Food service workers play a critical role in our economy and touch all of our lives, so I’m pleased that we are now able to offer the vaccine to them,” Mayor Duggan said in a statement Tuesday. “This new expansion potential allows even more Detroiters and essential workers greater access to the vaccination and hopefully keeps another group of frontline workers protected from this terrible disease.”

Security guards and janitors are also now able to receive the vaccine. Since the launch of the city’s vaccination effort six weeks ago at TCF Center, the city has received 39,350 vaccine doses (as of the end of Monday) and had administered 18,444. That includes more than 7,300 residents over 65 and “Good Neighbor” drivers (those who give rides to TCF Center to residents over 65), 1,993 health care providers, 2,400 first responders, 2,800 teachers and school staff, and 2,500 other eligible individuals.

To make an appointment, residents and workers can call 313-230-0505 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday-Friday. As of Monday, the average wait time for callers who made it through the initial prompts to determine their eligibility was about 15 minutes, according to the city. Additional information can be found at www.detroitmi.gov. When additional independent vaccination sites at pharmacies and elsewhere become available in the city, a map of locations will be added to the website.

The vaccination expansion comes on the same week that the state of Michigan lifted a ban on dining in restaurants. Restaurants and bars are now allowed to accept diners at 25 percent capacity with a maximum capacity of 100 people. Tables must be six feet apart, no more than six people per table are allowed, and a 10 p.m. curfew has been implemented to restrict dining-in hours. In addition, diners must provide their name and contact information to be seated to address contact-tracing.

This article was made possible by the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund, a project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, that’s working to increase quality journalism and help better inform communities.

Serena Maria Daniels

Author: Serena Maria Daniels

Serena Maria Daniels is the co-founder and head chingona of Tostada Magazine. She is an award-winning journalist based in Detroit and specializes on the intersection of food, identity, and culture.

Find her on Twitter and Instagram @serenamaria36!

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